For Just 20 minutes, I Can Wait For Anything...

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is well documented that one of the major secrets to losing weight and keeping it off is waiting at least 20 minutes after eating a meal or snack before eating anything else.

It takes at 20 minutes for the brain to catch up with the stomach (or is it the other way around?).

I have talked about this before, but I have never really lived it until now.

I always tended to eat desert right after dinner, and it seemed that I was never completely full.

Now I'm trying something different: setting a timer for 20 minutes and waiting before reaching for that extra something.

It DOES work because in the greater scheme of things, 20 minutes is not very long and waiting for a short period of time helps me figure out if I'm still really hungry or just hungry FOR something specific. If I'm really hungry, a carrot will taste good; if it just tastes blah, then I'm not really hungry.

And it's okay to still want something even if it's not nutritionally perfect. Life should be enjoyed to the fullest extent possible, including eating yummy foods--within reason.

But setting a 20-minute timer before eating something else frees me to go on to do other things because I know that once that 20 minutes is up, I can reach for something without guilt.

I have noticed that, often, the strong desire for that special food passes--setting that timer and waiting for it to ding can avert a full-blown binge.

A caveat: if you are physically hungry, then setting a timer won't work; our bodies are designed to respond strongly to genuine hunger pangs.

And it's never a good idea to starve yourself.


Gotta run! A piece of strawberry short cake (with whipped cream) awaits me!

Bon appetit!


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